Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Psdhingra
Legal Analyst, Hrm
Tajsateesh
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Akstyles23
Sales Engineer

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Dear All,
I work for a small organisation for the past two years which has a turnover of 2-3 crores per year. I am working as a technical sales and service engineer. My boss has agreed to send me to the USA for a training of 2 weeks for specialized training. The costs for the training like stay and food and training cost is borne by the company in USA and not my boss. My boss is paying for local transportation and stay from one place to another in USA which would amount upto a maximum of 20k rupees. Since I am being trained in something that needs some instruments. The cost of the instruments is about 10-15 lakhs. So now my boss is asking me to sign a bond for the same reason for a period of 3 years. What should be the reasonable cost associated with the bond if for some reason I will have to leave the company.
Do let me know your views.
Thanks
Ak

From India, Mumbai
Hey Guys, Any quick reply of suggestion on this? I am waiting for your suggestions to move ahead with this.
From India, Mumbai
Dear AK,

Members of this forum are outsiders. We do not know anything about the nature of your industry, nature of your job, nature of the training that you will undergo, whether it will benefit your career in future and so on. Therefore, it is difficult for us to provide comments.

Nevertheless, we can comment only on the conditions that stipulates to serve for three long years. Lock-in period of three years is too long. What if you get better opportunity during this period? Will it not be financial loss to you? Secondly, in the meanwhile, what if company tells you to put up excess working hours? I have seen situations where employees were turned into the slaves. Such employees were caught in pincer. On the one side were long working hours and another side was the agreement that they had signed with the employer.

For a while, think of the opposite. What will happen if you so say "No' to your employer? By not doing this training course, will there be severe negative impact on your career? For a talented person, for a skilled person, opportunities galore in the market. Will you get opportunities even though you do not this course?

You may agree to go to USA but not the lock-in period. Will it be possible to bargain for 1 year lock-in period?

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar


From India, Bangalore
Hello AK,

I differ from Dinesh Divekar here.

On what basis did you calculate/surmise that the MAX expenses towards 'local transportation and stay from one place to another in USA' would be 20 K INR? Who gave you those figures?

Pl note that short distance & one-way trips within USA are relatively quite expensive. And your stay is not for long durations--which again makes it expensive. If you have any friends in USA, you can check this out.

And I fail to see how does it matter to YOU as to who bears which cost....between your Company & your boss. For all you know, there would be some sort of an arrangement there.......which is & should not be any of your concern.

2 or 3 yrs Training Bonds are quite common for such foreign training trips.

Generally, the Bond period is decided based on the pay-back period [by when approxly would the cost of training be recouped in the course of sales in India]. I guess you surely won't be in a position to have the Sales Forecasts for the next few years.

Another Angle--how many employees are there in your Company who CAN/MAY be eligible for such Training? While I can't guess that number, I do think I wouldn't be quite off the mark that there would be at least one another person who COULD be your competitor for this training--pl correct me. Why did your boss select YOU?

Like Dinesh Divekar queried, ask yourself 'By not doing this training course, will there be severe negative impact on your career?' I can surely say that the right Breaks @ the right time separates a small lot from the rest.

Your boss isn't running a charity & neither are you. Just sit with your boss & sort it out keeping BOTH your interests in mind. THAT will take you long in your career.

Frankly, IF I were your boss & IF someone tends to argue on such points, I would straight hire a new guy & promise him this Trip as a carrot. Pl remember that your boss has MORE options in this scenario than you.

And where would that leave you? This essentially would be the Worst-Case-Scenario from your perspective. It's for YOU to think if you are OK with it IF it becomes a reality.

Rgds,

TS

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Sateesh,

In my previous reply, in the very first paragraph, I have clarified that we the forum members are outsiders and cannot assess the the choices that posters has in front of him. Poster has two choices. One is to say "yes" and another "no" to take the training. In my subsequent paragraphs, without mentioning the phrase "Merit/Demerit Analysis", I have told the poster to do this analysis on his own.

Learning operation of some capital equipment, whether it will give shot in arm to the poster's career or will become albatross around his neck that cannot be said at this stage. Lot of newer technologies are coming up and what is valid today could become redundant tomorrow. There could be attractive options also. Will poster lose those attractive options? We cannot assess that at this stage.

The owner of the poster is purchasing some capital equipment. This is his business investment. For the operation of this equipment, he is sending the poster for two week's training. For the training, owner will incur Rs 20,000/- as expenditure. Nevertheless, I am still of the opinion that the service bond of three years is too long period. Obviously, profit is the motive behind the investment in capital equipment. Will the business owner share some per cent of profit out of this investment?

As far as owner selecting a new employee under the condition of service bond of three years after the training is a moot point. Owners knows in the risks associated with this option. After all, known devil is better than unknown, hence owner's proposal to the poster!

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Hello Dinesh Divekar,
My comments/suggestions have been based on MY background in Instrumentation and also my life in USA.
So I wouldn't really count myself as an 'outsider' for this thread, having had some hands-on background in the field this member seems to be into & also adding my current role in Recruitment [many of our clients have similar--not less than 2 yrs for sure--Training Bonds].
However, like you said, no two situations can be identical though there can be similarities.
BUT this member is mixing-up the cost of the equipment on which he is to be trained with the cost of the training. The equipment can cost Millions, but the training costs are related to the actual expenses PLUS the pay-back aspects.
@ the EoD, it's the individual who needs to bite the bullet.......after all it's his/her career & life.
We can only share experiences and/or suggestions. The Walking needs to be by THAT individual.
Rgds,
TS

From India, Hyderabad
Hi friends,

Thank you for the responses , my boss is the proprietor of the firm. We are basically marketing products of a US company. The US company is interested in investing in me and hence they are paying for all my expenses. And not my proprietor. Yes there is one more person in the sales team but I am the only one looking after the products of the US company. So basically I am the only one who can be trained in the sales team.
@Tajsateesh-I said 20k because we already booked the travel between states and all that which sums up to 12k. Then I have added a buffer of 8k. U can say 25k then. Rest of the expenses will be covered by the company in USA.

@Dinesh. I too agree that the 3 years is too long. And it is true the market is a galore for a talented person.

My boss the proprietor has asked to sign the bond for 3 years for a sum of 3 lakh.
Frankly speaking I do want to attend the training session as it would be informative for me but I don't know something is holding me back. Maybe the three long years is.
Does it make sense?

From India, Mumbai
Hello AK,

Suggest DON'T get bogged-down with the figures FOR NOW.

Look @ the situation from multiple angles--else whatever you decide COULD be lopsided.

You mentioned the Training is to do with some Instruments/products..........what are they?

More importantly, what's the scope of utility of this training in YOUR long-term career.....meaning, would this be useful for you AFTER 3 yrs? If Yes, it's worth thinking forward. If No, then you better drop it right now & inform your boss that you aren't interested. The Downside IF you say No COULD be that you may not be able to stick to this job for long......better be prepared mentally for this scenario.

Pl note that discussing about the Bond Period and/or the Amount is something that's NOT entirely in your hands. Why spend time in discussing this over & over again when the chances of these factors being reduced COULD be bleak? At best, you can ask for a reduced timeline & Amount to your boss.........BUT pl be clear that this MAY also convey a message to your boss that you are not too keen on this & are already planning for the next job. So this step COULD be dicy too.

Years ago, I got a chance to be trained in a Power System related equipment in Germany for 3-4 months with German language training too included with a bond of 5 yrs or (I think) 2 Lakhs [in those days].

I applied what I mentioned above--IF that training would be useful to me in the long-term or not. I realized that the equipment was custom-made by Seimens that didn't have many equivalents in those days......so in all probability I would not only be stuck there after the Bond but also this period wouldn't be useful later on [in effect, non-productive from long-term point of view]. I just let it go......and no regrets.

It's another matter that I got the US Training chance in DAS from Westinghouse within a couple of years or so after that....maybe I was lucky.

So, in a nutshell, there's nothing like 'right/wrong' in such situations. It depends on: (1) How the Present jells into your Long-term career goals (2) What's the downside IF you say Yes now OR No now (3) IF you asked for a lower Bond timeline and/or Amount, how would that be viewed by your boss.

All the Best.

Rgds,

TS

From India, Hyderabad
Mr. AK,
Quick reply was dependant upon the most essential data, like your CTC, cost of the proposd tranining, duration of the training, additional cost of manning yourr vacant position by the company with a substitute, To arrive at the expected loss or gain in turn over by any fresher during the period of your absence on training, overheads that your company is likely to bear with in addition to all such costs, etc. But I find most of the data provided by you is quite irrelevant and still you want quick reply, as if the members are astrologers to be able to quickly know what data you have not mentioned. Is not it very strange on your part?
However, if your proprietor has asked you to sign the bond for 3 years for a sum of 3 lakh, the amount is too less. He sseems to have not been able to count all these costs properly.
If something is holding you back, why not refuse to sign a bond? Ask your boss to send someone else in your place.

From India, Delhi
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